The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a PIL seeking that the court declare illegal a recent amendment that allows those jailed to contest parliamentary and assembly elections.
A bench led by Justice H L Dattu said the best way to challenge the amendment in the Representation of the People Act was to approach a high court since the apex court may not directly admit such a plea. The court told the petitioner,advocate M L Sharma,that such a petition may not be permissible under Article 32 where fundamental rights of parties are to be asserted.
We are not saying whether the amendment is correct or incorrect,proper or improper,legal or illegal,or even ultra vires. All we are saying is that this petition against the amendment needs to be examined by a high court under Article 226 (writ jurisdiction with inherent powers), said the bench.
It asked Sharma to move a high court and approach the SC if the high court refuses to hear him or dismisses the plea. Sharma agreed.
Sharmas PIL had challenged the recent amendment in the RP Act,brought by the government to nullify the effect of the SCs July verdict under which those in lawful custody had been restrained from contesting elections since they were not electors. The amendment redefined elector,saying a person would not cease to be one if he cannot vote because of his being in lawful custody.